By Alexis R. Milan
Minister of National Security John Saldivar’s driver, Orlando Castillo was arrested and charged with multiple counts of traffic offences related to causing the death of a villager in Camalote on Saturday night, while driving a government vehicle.
According to Superintendent Howell Gillett, Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police Formation, Castillo was driving in grey Volkswagen Jetta, which belongs to the Ministry of National Security, from San Ignacio to Belmopan around 7 p.m., when he hit Vallan Paul Cucul near mile 51 on the George Price Highway.
Cucul, who was riding his bicycle, died on the spot and Castillo drove off without acknowledging the accident.
When police reached the scene, their investigations led them to Castillo’s home later that night. He was arrested and charged with six offences.
According to Gillet, Castillo admitted that while driving, a man on a bicycle veered out into his lane from the shoulder of the road. He tried to avoid hitting him but could not. Cucul received extensive damage to his head and body, causing him to die shortly after.
Castillo was charged for manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, failing to stop and render aid, failing to report an accident, and failing to provide a blood or urine sample.
Gillet pointed out that Castillo wasn’t given any special treatment for being a minister’s driver. and The procedure was followed the same as in any other hit -and- run case.
Castillo was arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court in Belmopan on Monday and was granted bail in the sum of $8,000.
He had to surrender all his travel documents and is to report to the police station every Thursday until his case goes back to court on September 7th.